Finding transition bucks

Being aware of a buck’s habit to chase females of the species can greatly increase your chances of staying with him as he “relocates.”

A prime example of this change was a buck that we had seen regularly in the same location.

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Big bucks can be predictable if you understand the phases they go through in the fall.

This buck was easy to identify because he only had antlers on one side. Throughout October he was seen once or twice a week with two other bucks of about his same size and age.

They moved from their bedding area into a cut soybean field about dusk almost every evening. They had not been pressured by bowhunters because of their immaturity.

As the rut began, this same buck was seen by bowhunters over a mile from the bean field. He was also spotted on an adjoining farm in early November. Because of his deformed rack, he was harvested during the firearms deer season about halfway between the bean field and the farm where he was last sighted.

Except for the sightings in his feeding area, he was seen with or around doe every time. He was going through the transition from pre-rut to peak-rut.

As deer become more vulnerable to the urge to reproduce, their inhibitions about human presence are relaxed. Deer that are totally consumed by the change in hormone production become almost oblivious to other stimuli.

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